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BACKGROUND: Preference differences between countries and populations justify the use of country-specific value sets for the EQ-5D instruments. There are no clear criteria based on which the selection of value sets for countries without a national value set should be made. As part of the European PECUNIA project, this study aimed to identify factors contributing to differences in preference-based valuations and develop supra-national value sets for homogenous country clusters in Europe. METHODS: A literature review was conducted to identify factors relevant to variations in the EQ-5D-3L/5L health state valuations across countries. Factors fulfilling the pre-specified criteria of validity, reliability, international feasibility and comparability were used to group 27 European Union member states, the European Free Trade Association countries and the UK. Clusters of countries were developed based on the frequency of their appearance in the same grouping. The supra-national value sets were estimated for these clusters from the coefficients of existing published valuation studies using the ordinary least-squares model. RESULTS: Ten factors were identified from 69 studies. From these, five grouping variables: (1) culture and religion; (2) linguistics; (3) healthcare system typology; (4) healthcare system financing; and (5) sociodemographic aspects were derived to define the groups of homogenous countries. Frequency-based grouping revealed five cohesive clusters: English-speaking, Nordic, Central-Western, Southern and Eastern European. CONCLUSIONS: European countries were clustered considering variables that may relate to differences in health state valuations. Supra-national value sets provide optimised proxy value set selection in the lack of a national value set and/or for regional decision making.

Original publication






Publication Date





1221 - 1234


Humans, Health Status, Surveys and Questionnaires, Quality of Life, Reproducibility of Results, Europe